Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Maggie Johnson

Postdoctoral Fellow

I am a post-doctoral Fellow with the Smithsonian Institution’s Marine Global Earth Observatory (MarineGEO) network, a growing program designed to monitor human impacts on coastal ecosystems across the globe. My fellowship is a joint appointment with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Smithsonian Marine Station in Fort Pierce, Florida. I am interested in understanding how local and global human impacts affect the structure and function of calcifier-dominated ecosystems, primarily coral and oyster reefs. My research uses a combination of field and laboratory experiments to understand how reef-building algae and corals, and the communities they build, are affected by increasing temperatures, decreasing pH (ocean acidification) and decreasing oxygen levels (hypoxia). I am particularly interested in determining if organisms from highly variable habitats can acclimatize to stressful conditions and are thus more resilient to global change stressors such as warming and ocean acidification. I conduct my research at three MarineGEO sites (Bocas del Toro, Panama; Carrie Bow Cay, Belize; Indian River Lagoon, Florida) and in Coiba on the Pacific coast of Panama. My ongoing research will explore the combined effects of acidification, warming and hypoxia on reef-building corals in Florida, specifically focusing on tolerances and differential survival under stressful conditions.

  • 2016                Ph.D. Marine Biology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
  • 2011                M.S. Biology, California State University, Northridge
  • 2007                Professional M.S. Marine Biology, Northeastern University (Three Seas Program)
  • 2005                B.A. Biology, Colby College
Research Interests

Effects of global change, including ocean acidification, warming, and hypoxia, on the biology and ecology of coral and oyster reefs.